Matthew Bradley, the late systems administrator who earned a reputation for exuberance, generosity, and technological expertise during his tenure in the Pomona College Computer Science Department, was honored with a memorial service at Pomona Sept. 9. It was the latest in a series of events dedicated to Bradley, who died last month at age 48.
While working for the Computer Science Department, Bradley maintained computer systems for other departments as well, including chemistry and mathematics. Outside of his job responsibilities, he built close relationships with students and became known throughout the Claremont colleges for his musical performances and fondness for skateboarding and gymnastics.
“He was just a wild and crazy guy, but he was also a responsible adult,” Pomona computer science professor Everett Bull said. “He got things done for us, and we really relied on him.”
In a speech at the Sept. 9 memorial service, Tim Taylor PO ’14 said that he first met Bradley in his first year at Pomona, while trying to restore an old computer in his spare time. When he asked Bradley for a favor, Taylor said, he was greeted with enthusiasm far beyond what he expected.
“He came in early that next Saturday and worked with me the entire day on this hopeless, hopeless project, and we had so much fun doing it,” Taylor said.
Taylor, who later became Bradley’s assistant, added that he is trying to respond to Bradley’s death in the way Bradley would have wanted.
“I’m extraordinarily sad that he’s gone, but I can’t even conceive of moping about his death because that’s just not who he was,” he said. “The best way to honor Matt would be to just be active, to keep this department working, to take delight in everything that breaks, to take delight in figuring out why it broke and how to fix it, and to continue on living very vigorously.”
Bull said that Bradley is missed in the Computer Science Department for both his personality and his professionalism. He added that the department continues to benefit from some of the work Bradley did during his tenure.
“So far, the machines that he maintained are still running,” he said. “We got through the beginning of the semester because of the firm foundation on which he had built the systems.”
Bradley’s surviving relatives include his mother Eleanor, his sister Anne, his wife Johannah, and their three children, Devin, James, and Jackson.
A college fund for Bradley’s children has been established. Those interested in making a donation can receive more information by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.